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I Don’t Agree With Jason Avant Or The Fans Who Criticize Him

“We look at home games like road games. We like to get booed by our fans. We don’t want people jumping on our bandwagon now.”

Oh, Jason Avant. After the Eagles drubbing of the Cowboys last Sunday night, Jason Avant made comments that definitely drew the ire of Eagles fans. He continued on Thursday by saying he’s trying to motivate his teammates by his comments as he and his team are taking an “us vs. them” mentality.

And while I can respect that if he meant national pundits or local media, he was directly implicating the fans as being against them,
which was an outlandish thing to do. Avant didn’t apologize for his comments, further digging a hole he made with the fans Sunday night.

Now, Avant has been a fan favorite in Philadelphia for years. He’s been the number three receiver most years, and definitely has made
some great plays for the Eagles. He stays out of trouble off the field and never once criticized his team or the fans in his previous five
seasons here. One would think that he would understand the mentality of the Philly sports fans and know he was going to be under fire for his comments.

So maybe he was trying to light a fire in his teammates by saying they haven’t accomplished anything yet and being 3-4 is still not even near where they need to be as a team. But when he invokes the bandwagon jumpers and fake Eagles fans, somehow fans as a whole take it personally.

They take it personally, so much so, that this week of sports radio on 94 WIP and 97.5 The Fanatic have almost melted my ears off. Fans have called in, some disagreeing with Avant, and some saying give the guy a break, he’s a good guy and hasn’t done anything outlandish so it’s no big deal. I tend to agree with the people who want Avant to just shut up and play and help his team win on the field instead of making themselves out to be martyrs for the Philadelphia Eagles fans. However, I’ve noticed a trend in recent months, and it even possibly dates back to last December when Cliff Lee signed with the Phillies and spurned the Yankees and Rangers.

Philly sports fans have now fallen in a trap. It’s the same trap those hated New York Yankee fans fell into while winning 27 World
Championships. It’s the same trap Red Sox Nation fell into after the Red Sox ended 86 years of failures by winning two World Series titles in the span of three years.

Yes, Philadelphia. You now have the sense of entitlement. You feel like you’re entitled to be respected and loved by the players who play in the city that you live in or around. Being the most passionate fan base in sports has nothing to do with it. As sports fans, we take these sports as serious as our daily lives. Sports are not a form of diversion from every day life in the northeast. Boston, Philadelphia, and New York patrons live and die by the success of their sports franchises. In Boston, if the Red Sox lose, it’s miserable. In New York, if the Yankees or Giants lose, it’s miserable. If any sports team in Philadelphia loses, it’s miserable. We live sports.

But there is a disconnect between athletes and fans. It can happen in any city. Avant obviously doesn’t know or care about how the fans would react to his comments, but I don’t think that’s the issue here. I did not agree with Avant or one word he said. But I don’t need him to like me. Do I give the Eagles my hard-earned money? Yes. But why is that a reason that Avant has to kiss my butt for being a great fan?

Sometimes I hear these fans say they pay the salaries of the players so the players should be forever indebted to them. I couldn’t agree less. The players play for their love of the game. If they don’t like or respect the fans, that’s their shortcoming as a person and a professional athlete. I don’t need athletes to love me because let’s face it, most of the outpouring of love from athletes is fake. Very few athletes have come through this town and others and legitimately had a connection with the fans that was just as strong off the field as it was on.

Do you really think Michael Vick loves us? He’d love us if we were to faze the opposing team with our chants, insults, and loud cheering. But do you think he cares that we pay his salary? He shouldn’t. He knows the Eagles fans are going to be there long before he’s gone. He doesn’t have to be indebted to us forever. This is what I don’t get from you Eagles fans, and even broader, Philly sports fans in general.

Why do we need our athletes to understand us? Not all of them are going to. And why are we going to blackball them if they don’t
understand us? I don’t want Jason Avant to tell me I’m so great and an awesome fan and one of the most passionate fans. I don’t care
about any of that. So why is our sense of entitlement increasing? Because Cliff Lee spurned New York?

For days after Lee signed with the Phillies, all I heard was Philly fans are great, we’re the best, we’re loved and we are #1. I’d be lying if I told you I didn’t enjoy hearing that, but I also had a sense that we’d become entitled to think that way just because an athlete wanted to come to the Phillies instead of the Yankees. I heard the same rumblings with Nnamdi Asomugha signed with the Eagles instead of the Jets. Aw, man, us fans are so amazing look how many people want to come and play in this city?

So boo Jason Avant. For all intents and purposes, the guy deserves it because his comments were completely unwarranted. But so are the comments that Avant needs to respect and love us because we are the best fans ever. I don’t want that entitlement. It’s gotten us nowhere since 2008. We weren’t entitled to anything then. Sure, athletes should respect our passion, but they don’t need to pat us on the back all day, every day.

I’m not trying to pick on the fans. I’m one of the biggest Philly sports fans you’ll ever meet. But why do we have that entitlement
now? We hated that when the Yankees and Red Sox fans portrayed it. Now we are portraying it.

Or am I just wrong? Maybe someone can explain it a bit better to me than just “we are awesome fans, athletes need to love us.” Because that excuse has so many things wrong with it.

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Posted by on Nov 6 2011. Filed under BREAKING NEWS, Eagles, General News, News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

24 Comments for “I Don’t Agree With Jason Avant Or The Fans Who Criticize Him”

  1. Some good points Nick,
    My perspective of a life-long Philly Sports fan (though I moved away in late 80′s but still follow the Phils & Eagles very closely) is that there is more & more younger kids/young adults that don’t really remember what it was like when the Phils/Eagles were terrible and doormats of their respective Leagues & Sports..We always took pride in that our teams were made up of athletes and coaches that were kind of like us, blue collar, hard working, tough but fair, and good sports and maybe not the most athletic kid on the street, but would win on fundamentals, outhustling and smart play… Now in this time of 24/7 coverage everywhere from the local & national media, the internet,blogs, I-Phones, etc,etc… Success is basically measured by winning the Championship/Super Bowl/World Series in today’s Society and anything less is considered a failure, a disappointment and then Fans and Media want to blame why our favorite teams failed to win.. It’s the Coach’s fault, GM’s fault, Bad Schemes, Bad Players, a particular Player,Weather, Officiating, etc.etc..
    When you think of both Baseball and Football , only 1 out of 32 teams will be the Champion, so there is a 96% chance of failure before the 1st Pitch or 1st Kick-off ever occurs.. The older I get (now 48) I want my teams to win, but to win in the right way, build thru the Draft and Fram teams, Develop and coach up young talent, have a Roster full of players who live in Philly and become a real part of the Community,not players who fly in, play their game, collect their checks and move on… There is so much of that in our Society now and these SPorts have become such big business to theTeams and the Players that It’s impossiblye to find fault with anyone.. Hopefully the EAgles and Phils will continue to wear the Uniforms Proudly and represent the City and Delaware Valley as well as they have, and the Ownership/Front Offices continue to field teams with good guys who hustle, play hard and by the rules..As we have all seen in recent years many times over, it’s takes a lot of things to go right to win a Championship, Good Health, some lucky breaks, good Coaching and obviously, good Talent and at least the Philly Teams have this as opposed to many other franchises.. .Lets go Eagles and Phils

  2. “Entitled” You hit the nail right on the head with that word alone Nick.

  3. Nick – “because his comments were completely unwarranted”…. um… NOPE. Unwarranted? Were many fans not trying to get the coach fired? Were many fans not calling the coach, MANY players and SEVERAL assistant coaches bums, failures and trash (if not worse)? So for Avant to essentially say ‘we shut all the fan/crowd out and just play football’ – that’s unwarranted? BULLSHIT

    How can anyone argue that the best thing for the players and coaches to do – who mind you are bombarded with negativity non-stop – is to focus on the fans and not try to shut it out. You’re telling me that it’s not the most effective thing to try to ignore and shut it out? Come on man (cue Chris Carter voice). Yes, they were playing terrible – DUH – they knew that. I’m not saying don’t boo them during bad games. I’m not saying pretend that everything is honky dory. There will be haters, we know that. BUT from the players standpoint… – HOW CAN SHUTTING IT OUT AND IGNORING NOT BE THE BEST WAY TO FOCUS ON FOOTBALL?

  4. schiller, Avant’s comments prove one thing and one thing only. That they are NOT shutting it out and ignoring fans. He came out and blasted the fans after a victory, without any provocation. If the players really wanted to shut out the fans’ criticism and ignore it, they would not mention it and focus on the team instead of how the fans boo them.

    Avant is a smart guy, but his comments came at a time where it wasn’t necessary. He could’ve made the comments after the 49ers game and it would have at least made more sense. But he’s not ignoring the fans. He’s using them as ammunition to motivate his team. And if the team needs that as motivation, then there are problems a lot bigger than the fans wanting Andy Reid fired.

    The players work for the team, we all get that. But it’s clear that this fan base just wants to win. They can criticize the team at any time they want. It’s their right. It’s also the player’s right to respond if they choose to. But you can’t tell me Avant is blocking out the fans after his comments. He’s taking them on head on. Whether people agree or disagree with it is entirely up to them. Not a right or wrong answer.

  5. Nick – do you really think Avant sought out a microphone and said, I’ve got something to say…then he said those quotes? You think that’s how it went? You don’t think he said those things in response to a question from a media member? REALLY? “without any provocation” – ARE YOU SERIOUS? You say it would have been appropriate after the niners game. That was just a week earlier. So you admit the ‘provocation” was there, just a week earlier. It was there all week too. The dallas win doesn’t take everything the fans wrote and said away. That stuff still existed an that’s what Avant was responding to. By what you say, it’s as if Avant were making these comments to about of Canadian old women, not philly sports fans.

    “They can criticize the team at any time they want. It’s their right. It’s also the player’s right to respond if they choose to.” – Correct, but rights were never mentioned by Avant at all. They were only brought up by people in the post discussion. None of this is about rights. It’s about comments, approaches to situations and opinions.

    Avant said that after the game in response to a reporter question. You’re correct that he wasn’t shutting it out at that moment (how could he, that was the topic of the question), but what he implied is that he shuts it out DURING THE GAME – which is different from after the game in the locker room talking to media. So no, his comments do NOT prove that they’re not shutting it out and trying to ignore the fans during the games.

    And if this proves that negativity bothers players – I agree with that – then wouldn’t it help the team win if us fans laid off the negativity? That’s just plain logic.

  6. I’m here looking at the Pats getting whipped up by an injured Giants team and was wondering what Vinnie would think if Vick had a game like Brady is having today?

    Game is in the 3rd quarter and Brady have 2 int 0 TD’s and a fumble.

    Any answers Vinnie?

  7. Giants and the Pats suck. Though i hate those “belicheaters,” I was hoping they were going to stop the Giants.

  8. It’s official.

    There is a QB controversy in Arizona.

    Has Skelton done to Kolb what Vick did? OMG!

    Vinnie – Don’t jump! It’s only a game.

  9. Told you Brady hasn’t been the same since the Giants started putting some licks on him in the Superbowl. He looks nervous back there.

  10. Songs

    “Vinnie the Invisible” is only reading today.

  11. The Pats are not the same team as years past for the following reasons

    #1) There’s no “Deep Threat” since Moss was traded, a bunch of small possesion WR’s who are very good between the 20 Yard lines but not effective once in the Red-Zone (they do have 2 very good TE’s though)
    #2) No Pass Rush – one of the worst DL in the entire NFL in my opinion
    #3) Average LB’s & Secondary play … (especially at Safety)

    This has to be the worst Patriot Defense in the last 10 years, they will not make it very deep in the playoffs and the Eagles should move the ball up and down all game long versus them..

    Give the Giants credit going in without Bradshaw an NIcks and still able to protect Manning long enough to get the ball down the field.. WR Cruz has really stepped up with his opportunities to play and 3rd String TE Ballard with the game winning TD Reception. Eagles can still beat the Giants next time they have them but nowwith their win, there is no margin for a let-down or a loss.. With the Giants,Saints,Falcons, Cowbys all winning, the Eagles must beat the Bears Mon night or they will have to run the table and win the final 8 games to keep in the Wild-Card hunt..

  12. vinnietheevictor

    I’m here looking at the Pats getting whipped up by an injured Giants team and was wondering what Vinnie would think if Vick had a game like Brady is having today?

    What a stupid question/comparison.

    What would I be saying? I’d be saying that Brady hasn;t looked like ‘brady’ for a this whole season so far….

    But at least he has 3 championships and was for a while the greatest QB in the last 15 years.

    Vick doesn;t have 1/10th the accolades to fall back on when he has bad games.

  13. ok…Vinnie..

    Based on your assessment…..are you saying Vick is presently a better quarterback than Brady?

  14. vinnietheevictor

    better question.

    Would Belichick trade Brady for Vick str8 up. No. End of debate.

  15. If players would just focus on their OWN respective performances, and understand that fans will by and large always be, well, fans.

    I mean, isn’t the word “fan” a derivative of the word “fanatic?” Fans are essentially people of extremes. They give a ton of credit when a ton of credit isn’t merited, and they dole out an inordinate amount of blame / fault when
    it is unwarranted. It is the nature of the beast, if you will. Yet, for some strange reason, players (Can you say “J. Roll”, Jason Avant and a whole mess o’ others) just cannot grasp this concept.

    Vince Young first coined the phrase “Dream Team.” Not the fans. Then what do the Eagles do? They play like the Nightmare Team. We’re supposed to what? Wave our pom poms like it’s college. Have some panty raids and beer runs in the frat dormitories? Like ESPN might say, hey, Ja, c’mon, man! Grow up! When one of your teammates dubs you guys the dream team. And your team follows that up w/ a lousy record and a self destructive propensity for losing games. Don’t hate the fans, hate the player (who put that pressure on you guys to start off like a legitimate Super Bowl contender) LOL

    The Eagles’ record at home is atrocious of late. It’s too hard to look in the mirror and say we’re stinkin’ the joint out here at home, isn’t it?

    Listen, if you give something for the fans to cheer about it, they’ll support you like no other city. But if you give them nothing, well, it is a double-edged sword, my friend. Learn to deal with playing your home games in the Northeast Corridor. NY, Boston, Philly and even D.C., they are basically the same. They are towns of extremes when it comes to supporting and scrutinizing their sports teams. But what is the alternative? I’ll tell ya what it is. The alternative to that is apathy. It’s people not showing up for home games. It’s stadiums that sound like farm lands with crickets, grasshoppers and night owls sounding off in the background. And for those who are there, it’s fans putting bags over their heads. Say what you want about Eagles fans, but they don’t have a single blacked out game since moving to the Linc, nor is there ever a mad scramble trying to sell out the games just before game time. That is NOT the case in every city. And wasn’t the Phillies fans voted the best in baseball a while back?

    Hey, when they are critical, they can be brutal. There is no arguing, no questioning that. But when you’ve got them behind you. Oh baby! You’ve got a tsunami of euphoria to look forward to!

    In other words, J.A. it don’t get no better than this, pal!

    If you’re a winner, THIS is the place to be. So like that big guy who recently passed away liked to say. Just win, baby! Just win!

  16. “The players play for their love of the game. ” …NC Piccone

    According to businessweek the average NFL salary is 1.9 million dollars.

    If players played for the love of the game there would not have been a lock out.

    They play for the revenue that fans generate by going to the games and watching the games on TV which drives advertising.

    Avant’s comments give you a window inside the heart of a non-champion. The win against Dallas accomplished nothing. Not yet. Especially since the Giants defeated New England. It just keep a season alive that should have never been in jeopardy in the first place. A team loaded with probowlers on offense and defense and a 13 year vet as your head coach.

    The nature of a fanatic for a team is to expect the team to win most of their games when evenly matched. And all the games when the superior team.
    Losing 5 home games in a row does not entitle a player to critisize the fanbase.

    If you miss 5 days or work or have not been pulling your weight in the real world your boss will let you have it. There is nothing wrong or fake about a fan voicing his displeasure for the product he is paying for.

    Philadelphia fans have a special place in their heart for Dick Vermeil. Vermeil did not win a superbowl, but we knew he respected us and gave it his all. These half-a$$ scrubs make one catch or one sack and their dancing like they accomplished something.

    Mr. drops has not made one pro-bowl and is a easily replacable part of this team and he has the nerve to think one victory over dallas gives him the right to call life long fanatics, band wagon fans?

    Sit your sorry behind in Vetrans stadium and watch some film clips of Roman Gabriel and Richie Kotite. Silky Sullivan and Harold Jackson. Spend a few decades watching a francise literally figure out ways to lose games and then you might have a slight inkling why we are just a little fed up with Fat Boy and company.

    Watch the Giants win a superbowl with Eli Manning, the Redskins with Doug Williams and you wonder why we can’t. Dallas was loaded with Staubach Dorsett and Aikman, Emmit Smith ligitimate hall of famers.

    Avant and the Eagle offensive lineman that came to Andy’s defense should do what the late Al Davis did. “Just win Baby” and all that other stuff will take care of itself.

  17. Paul

    You failed to mention that Brady often misses open receivers and he is also prone to turnovers.

    How could you have missed those two points? That’s quite perplexing.

  18. You are right Drummer,
    I hav suspended myself (with full pay and benefits of course)
    Brady is not the same, his legs look a little wobbly to me and he has no legitimate deep threat so most Defenses can play their smaller WR’s up close and be physical with them… He does have 2 very good TE’s in Gronkowski/Fernandez which are huge mismatches versus LB’s..
    The Pats also have no real running game so they will live or die with Brady and the way their Defense is put together, it’s very doubful that they will be making any deep run in the playoffs this year..

  19. BSM -
    “Avant and the Eagle offensive lineman that came to Andy’s defense should do what the late Al Davis did. “Just win Baby” and all that other stuff will take care of itself.”

    HA you dope, that’s exactly what Avant was saying! His point was that he just focuses on football (winning), and doesn’t focus on whether the fans are home or away. So basically, you’re sensitive ‘fan’ frustration from being an Eagles fan so long has you angry at Avant for him agreeing with you! That’s asinine!

  20. the damn giants and Eli manning made this game even bigger if that is possible, eagles are clearly are in a win or done for at least the next three and maybe continuing depending how the giants fare down the road, this will be a close game, eagles 27-24

  21. I don’t agree with Avant but he’s entitled to his opinion. Same as the fans. But Avant acts like fans should not have been voicing their displeasure with the team was playing like crap. Like fans should have the “we’ll get em next time” mentality when you play as pad as they did for the 4 straight weeks. Equating bandwagon jumping to criticism is dumb. While there are fans who say stuff like they don’t care about them anymore and stuff the majority of fans were just voicing what they feel about how bad the team is playing. That doesn’t mean they “jumped off the bandwagon” just that they are upset. Of course some are over the top but at the end of the day those same people that boo when you are terrible will defend you to the death when you are playing well. Those are appropriate reactions to the circumstances. If anyone is expecting all people to react the same way and fans to not overreact one way or another then you’re just not being realistic. But again, I understand what Avant is saying. Don’t agree but I guess he thinks people are just supposed to shut up and pat them on the back when they are stinking up the field. Go to any major market team in the country and it’s the same. Not just Philly.

  22. Just because you have a microphone in your face and are asked provocative questions doesn’t mean you you have to say something controversial or something that offends, especially with all the fan support the Eagles have gotten before you appeared on the scene and will continue long after you are gone from the scene.

  23. Hey Jason, in order for you to have the frontrunners you speak of….your team actually needs to win games.

  24. Did anyone notice the body language and energy level of Avant once he was booed after his Receptions, It bothered him big time and Coach AR & MM actually sat him out most of the 2nd Half and replaced him with WR Riley Cooper. I think Avant’s playing days may be coming to an end for the Eagles

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